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In non-violent crisis intervention

Last updated: January 24. 2014 3:26PM - 517 Views
By Dean Shipley dshipley@civitasmedia.com



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One thing about the “business” of education is teachers never stop learning. That occurs not only in their courses of concentration but also in the handling of their charges. Teachers are charged with providing not only content but also the best environment into which that content is presented.


Into that environment file the students, who come from a myriad of backgrounds. In a perfect learning world those students would file orderly into the classroom, sit up straight, pay perfect attention and absorb nearly every word, concept and lesson.


Teachers would never have to “correct” their charges as they would already be correct. Thus the teachers could present their lessons unimpeded by the taking of time to deal with “distractions.”


Distractions happen and Jonathan Alder (JA) superintendent said the “art” of teaching comes to the fore when teachers can successfully address the distraction with a minimum of time lost from the presentation of the lesson.


“Distractions can be many things,” Chapman said. “The key is to anticipate them.”


One of those distractions is less than desirable behavior by a student in the classroom setting.


The opposite of less than desirable behavior is good behavior. Good behavior fosters a better environment for learning and teaching, as it turns out.


Shawn Heimlich, director of special services for Jonathan Alder schools, will be joined by Jennifer Bogenrife, coordinator of social and behavioral services, and they will undertake a district-wide training of teachers in non-violent crisis intervention.


He and Bogenrife attended the Crisis Prevention Institute and earned their certification as trainers. The training cost $4,400. But as trainers, they can train the rest of the JA staff cost free, which over the long haul will save the district money.


Heimlich said good behavior promotes good learning. He also said embedded in the state regulations (as of 2013) is a requirement that school districts develop and implement a system of positive behavior intervention and support. It started out as special-education law, but has broadened to encompass all students because of the focus on behavior.


Heimlich said the whole focus is to develop a system within the district, within the buildings, within the classroom that rewards appropriate behavior. It requires the administrator and the teacher to look at the proactive side of behavior management and establish compassionate and clear expectations in the classroom and rewards students for appropriate behavior.


Heimlich said “countless” studies have shown increased focus on positive behavior and reinforcement of meeting those expectations yields better learning in the classroom.


The first round of training will be for three to five teachers who will be trained for 15 hours over three days.


There will be focus on listening skills, verb interactive skills as a way to de-escalate the student and get them to a calmed-down level.


“The goal is to get to the root, what set them off,” Heimlich said. “You get them to talk about the situation. That’s part of the process.”


Once the teachers are trained, training will move to staff.


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